Out of all the questions in this FAQ and all the arguments we’ve heard along the years, the only one we find really challenging is this one. The rest are mainly excuses for activists to keep doing what they are already used to. To those who internalized the moral imperative of human extinction but are genuinely discouraged by the extreme complexity of the mission, we wish to say that we totally understand why you find it hard to start.
As complicated, difficult and extremely imperceptible as it may be, you must constantly remind yourself that there is nothing more important than thoroughly examining the possibility of stopping the suffering for good. It is definitely worth the time it would take to at least make a more educated decision regarding the only option that can truly end all the suffering caused by humans, and for good, instead of hastily dismiss the option as way too complicated.
Obviously we are aware that it is extremely complicated, however nobody knows that it is ‘way too complicated’. None of you do and therefore you are morally obligated to try and figure that out. The difference between way too complicated and extremely complicated is exactly why we created this movement. This is the gap between merely wishing for the world to be destroyed, as many activists do (stating it’s the best thing that can ever happen!), and acting to make it so.
It is important to approach the suffering abolition project while taking a break from your regular activism. That is despite that from our personal experience in many cases activism is exactly what brings activists to consider the annihilation option. Profound despair of the chances to ever change their society, made many think that it is pointless to try and change all of humanity, and that the only way to put an end to the harms is to get rid of it.
We wish it wouldn’t be despair, hate (not to mention revenge) that inspire activists to look for ways to stop the suffering, but the vision of a world with no battery cages, trawl nets, TD, slaughterhouses, mastitis, gestation crates, mulesing and so many other atrocities. But in any case, while you are examining the possibility of ending humans’ dominion for good, it is recommended not to do it while continuing with your conventional activism, as it is easy to be sucked back into the conventional activism routine, especially if the other activism mission is as demanding as this one.
The start would be very hard. It is very frustrating to learn about the outcome of past pandemics, historical climatic events and the record of asteroid and commits hits, but remember, none of the past events was engineered intentionally. The outcome of a well-designed plan could be entirely different.
The wave off of the human extinction project by throwing an “argument” like “the human race will always find ways to overcome anything…”, is ungrounded in the better case, and a superficial evasion in the worse. Humanity had never faced, for instance, a pathogen which was tailor-made to annihilate it. No pathogen ever had the following combination of properties - being highly lethal, having a long non symptomatic contagious period so it has enough time to spread itself before killing its hosts, having reservoirs other than humans so it is much harder to eradicate, being airborne as well as vector borne, and with as little symptoms as possible so it would be hard to detect. A pathogen of this sort was the stuff of fantasy up until several years ago. Today it sounds like a very complicated and very unlikely science, but not science fiction.
Biotechnology, particularly genetically engineered pathogens, will be more attractive to individuals and groups because of the relative high degree of ease, expertise, cost, and widespread information. The developments in biological sciences indicate there is abundance of possibilities regarding the study of microorganisms and its applicability in creating new biological agents with desirable traits.
Other crucial elements that can dramatically expend the spread of a pathogen are that as opposed to natural pandemics, activists can choose several centers across the globe from which to spread it, and as opposed to past pandemics, nowadays humans are living in very high density areas, and travel very often and very far. All of these factors can highly contribute to the spread of pandemics. For a more comprehensive view please read our text regarding past events and what we should and shouldn't draw from them.
Our hope is that not too many years from now, more and more activists would think that although it is extremely complex, the suffering abolition movement’s call for action is not impossible. And if the chance to stop the immense suffering humans cause is not technically impossible, exploring this possibility is a moral imperative.
Even if it was impossible to cause the extinction of the human race because of humans living in remote areas that would not get infected - if after the pandemic the only humans who are left in the world are the ones living in isolated regions we think it would still by an extremely better world than one with 9 or 10 billion humans who are all vegans (a scenario which probably not even one rational and realistic activist thinks is possible). Even if there wasn’t a way to make humanity totally extinct, a small fraction of humans living basically like other animals in terms of moral and ecological impact, as undesirable as it is, it is extremely better than anything that conventional activism can ever achieve.
Even if an attempt to cause a pandemic aimed at human extinction would fail and "only" significantly reduce human population – even for several centuries “only” – humans’ impact is so enormous and severe, that even only a 10% reduction in its population would decrease more suffering than any other activity we can think of. Therefore no activist should think twice before examining this option.
And anyway, if you still think that humans can overcome a threat like a pandemic than it means causing a global pandemic is not enough on its own, and what is required is a combined effort made of several different routes.
Maybe what is required is an elaborated, coordinated, multi-staged effort made by several activists, spreading one pathogen while others are spreading a different one (since as we explain in the text about pathogens, one is probably far from being sufficient), both followed by a simultaneous attack on the world’s institutions which are most likely to confront the pandemics (WHO, CDC and etc.).
And all that can be a starting point for a more ambitious move, creating the opportune moment for the efforts to make the entire planet gradually uninhabitable for humans (which obviously would also affect other species as well), by releasing for example, the enormous amount of trapped Methane Hydrate, which is considered by many climatologists as a ticking time bomb, or releasing to the atmosphere extremely potent designed GHG’s to intensify the Greenhouse Effect, or releasing substances that would decrease the Albedo effect, or whatever combined global project you can think of. These are just examples, the point is that if it is a disbelief in the chances of one of the suggested routes, then there is a need to think of a combination of them, not to give up the only option to stop the suffering.
We know this scenario sounds absolutely far-fetched but consider that several decades ago it would have sounded absolutely ridiculous. With the rate of advance of technologies and possibilities, in a few decades from now it would seem less and less unrealistic than it may seem now. And more importantly, it would forever remain far-fetched if all the activists keep focusing on the few more humans they can convert to veganism, instead of focusing on implementing an applicable operating plan to truly end humans tyranny and for good.
In a self-defeating cycle, the more activists excusing themselves from trying because the idea is unrealistic, the more unrealistic the idea seems to activists who therefore excuse themselves from trying.
Our goal is that the human annihilation option becomes an acknowledged activism option. Our hope is that it would become activists’ first option. In fact, it must. When faced with the historical, systematical and inherent human dominion over nonhumans, stopping all humans from causing all their harms for good, is what should be our goal, and thinking how we can do that is where we must start. Advocacy, today's go-to option, must be realized for what it is – an extreme compromise at animals’ expense. As intuitive as advocacy is for activists, this shouldn’t be the obvious starting point. You start from the best, most radical option and only if it turns out to be irrelevant should you turn to such a desperate compromise as working towards a world with as many vegans as possible. And even a totally vegan world (which is totally unrealistic) is a horrible world as we thoroughly explain in the FAQ Why not Work Hard to Make a Vegan World, as well as in the article Vegan Suffering and in the article occupied territory.
Examining all the options, and more importantly all the suffering humans are causing, have caused all along history, and will cause if we don’t stop them, necessarily lead to the conclusion that humans must be annihilated. Only after all the possible ways to achieve this goal were investigated and failed, can you argue that is impractical.
We doubt that any of the activists who argue that the annihilation idea is impractical claim so after seriously examining the option. As long as we don’t know that the only solution to the world suffering is impossible, we all must try.
The vision, that groups of activists with a diverse set of implementation projects may someday work, is not more imaginary than that the whole world would someday decide to go vegan (and stay vegan forever), that veganism would someday become truly cruelty free, that somehow all the other harms that humans are systematically causing to others and to each other, would end. While the first is theoretically possible, but practically extremely unlikely, the following two are not even theoretically possible.
The goal of our movement is to convince activists to give up the chance to stop some of the suffering that the few humans they would actually manage to affect are causing, and focus on stopping all the suffering that all humans will ever cause.
We know that most activists won’t join the suffering abolition project. Let them focus on making veganism more accessible to some humans and let yourself focus on making suffering a history.
We realize how intimidating it sounds, but every other option currently doesn’t even manage to decrease the growing numbers of victims per year. And nothing else can ever stop all the other suffering causes in the world.
We all have one life. We can use it to be another activist who tries to help some animals by convincing some humans to stop hurting them, or we can decide to devote our singular life to the super pretentious and low chance effort of stopping all humans from making all the harms combined, and forever. Obviously, once, we were also conventional activists. That was until we realized that we can’t think of a better bet than putting everything we have on the chance that all the suffering humans cause and will ever cause, will end.
Nothing can be compared with even the tiniest option of stopping all the suffering humans are causing, and for good.
Don’t focus on the small chances of such a plan to succeed, but on the chances that it can be accomplished but won’t ever happen because no one tried it.
The only thing worse than talented and dedicated activists who devoted their lives to end the suffering but failed, is activists missing the option to end the suffering because they thought it would fail.